HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The country's leading infectious disease expert joined Connecticut's governor for the state's daily COVID-19 news conference.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Monday morning that Dr. Anthony Fauci accepted Lamont's invitation to join the news briefing.
Dr. Fauci discussed everything from the state of the state to schools reopening.
I appreciate Dr. Fauci for accepting my invitation to join us today for our COVID-19 news briefing to discuss the effects of the virus around the country and its impact on Connecticut. We’ll be getting started at 4PM.Watch live: https://t.co/K7xQp0evwO pic.twitter.com/h6WcsmFnZC— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) August 3, 2020
With an infection rate hovering around 1 percent for more than a month, Dr. Fauci says Connecticut is in a good place and he says that means schools can and should reopening.
"You, now in many respects, have the upper hand. You have such a low rate, that when you do get new cases, you have the capability of containment," Dr. Fauci said.
While the numbers in Connecticut remain steady, unfortunately, it's the younger population that's getting more infected.
That fact is a double edge sword because on one hand, the likelihood of people in this age range surviving the coronavirus is higher, but on the other hand, if young people who are not showing symptoms and unknowingly carry the virus and return to schools, it could be the site of a potential flare up.
"There's always a risk, but depending upon the level you're in, my approach has always been the default position should be to try as best as you possibly can to open up the schools for in-person learning. It's important for the children, for the psychological benefit, and in some places, even for the nutrition of children who rely on breakfasts and lunches for proper nutrition," Dr. Fauci said.
Dr. Faui went on to say opening schools is also crucial for parents so they can continue to work as opposed to doing home-schooling.
He shared new information about how the virus impacts school-aged children between the ages of 10 and 19.
"When you look at the level of virus in the nasal pharynx of children, it's 10 to maybe multiple more times the amount of virus in the nasal pharynx of younger children compared to older children. If you have that amount of virus in your nasal passage, you need to assume that child can transmit the virus to someone else," Dr. Fauci said.
Dr. Fauci presented both sides of reopening schools and that gives superintendents like Dr. Joseph Olzacki some tough choices.
"Dr. Fauci's interview today was inspiring that he gave us some of the answers that we maybe didn't get before, but he also left questions of where is this going to go," Dr. Olzacki said.
In March, Dr. Olzacki, the superintendent of Region 14 schools, was the first int he state to close down. His schools, like all in the state, have plans to reopen in less than a month. He understands his decisions could mean life or death.
"I have to make sure our children are protected, our faculty is protected, our parents are protected. It's awsome. Going to bed every night, I wonder am I doing enough," Dr. Olzacki said.
Dr. Fauci did say the infection rate remains low, there's a very little chance of infection being spread, so he says CT should keep doing what we're doing with masks and social distancing enforcement.
Dr. Fauci also said Connecticut might not see a second wave in the fall due to the state's low infection rates.